A few days ago, the Mysticals were in space. Yes, you read that right. They had climbed aboard Orak’s tempus machine and zoomed out of MysticLand. Now, they were suspended in the silent darkness, looking at the International Space Station (ISS).

The ISS is an enormous spacecraft that orbits around the Earth. It is made up of many tiny parts called modules. The space agencies of various countries contributed to these modules, such as the United States National Aeronautics and Space Research (NASA), Russia’s Roscosmos, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), European Space Agency (ESA), and Canadian Space Agency (CSA). Astronauts stay in the ISS and conduct research.

“What are we looking at?” said Scorch who was now getting impatient.

“We are looking at the ISS which has become the hub of space tourism! If you have enough money to pay for a trip, you can fly to space for entertainment,” replied Verum.

“Someone visited the ISS recently as space tourists?” said Scorch.

“Yes!  Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa and his assistant Hirano flew to the ISS onboard the Soyuz, a ROSCOSMOS spacecraft. ROSCOSMOS is a Russian government organization dealing with space flights and aerospace research. With this trip, Russia has rejoined the space tourism race,” said Verum, further adding that the duo stayed at the ISS for 12 days from 8th December to 20th December.

“What do you mean by ‘Russia has rejoined’,” asked Orak while switching gears.

“Did you know that Russia controlled space tourism about a decade (10 years) ago? After a break, Russia wants to dominate the space tourism industry again. This was Russia’s first tourist launch in 12 years. ROSCOSMOS has said it’ll launch spacewalks around the ISS and trips around the moon soon.”

“In fact, in recent years, various countries and companies have begun developing spacecraft to take tourists to space. Among these countries, you have the United States (US), China, and Russia that can launch manned spacecraft. However, companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin, and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic are also entering this industry,” concluded Orak.